As Charles S. Clark of Government Executive writes, three members of the House – Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts and Gerry Connolly of Virginia – have requested, by letter, something called a Government Accountability Office study. They are concerned that “The pay freeze, furloughs and last October’s government shutdown have so deflated the federal workforce” that:
“Stakeholders, including federal employee organizations, have noted that federal workers have become increasingly dissatisfied with their employment, and that this may be compromising the federal government’s ability to serve the American people.”
Assuming that this is true, it is interesting that government workers should feel themselves especially put upon when, as has been widely reported, more than half of the population, according to recent polling, believes the economy is still in a recession. And that just one in four Americans believes that the economy will be stronger next year.
Tempting as it is for government types to believe they are something special, their demoralization does not give them preferred status. Except, that is, when it comes to losing their jobs and joining the unacceptably numerous ranks of the unemployed. They are spared that worry.
Complaining to the Government Accountability Office might make them feel better. But a more fruitful course of action might be to look to the political class which claims an ability to understand the economy and tune it up so it hums like a sewing machine. Based on the evidence – to include the demoralization of government workers – it can’t. Or won’t.
Either way, it should be held accountable. And that includes Cummings, Lynch, and Connolly.